KOCHI: The Cochin State Legislative Assembly Hall at the Ernakulam Government Law College, which is a historic building, is getting ruined.
It is being used for different meetings while no proper upkeep is being done either by the college authorities or the PWD which is supposed to do maintenance.
The building is nearly 200 years old. “It was first established as a town hall. The library at Maharaja’s College was shifted to the upstairs of the town hall building.
At that time Maharaja’s College was only an English school. It became a public library. The town hall became the Assembly hall in the early 1920s,” said Ravi Kuttikkad, journalist-cum-historian.
“It has a special relevance in Kerala history. Outstand-ing politicians of the last century were part of this Assembly. They include Panampilly Govinda Menon, who was the prime minister of the Cochin State. Ikkana Warrier, another prime minister of the state, ministers of the state Sahodaran Ayyapan, Ambatt Sivarama Menon, Parambi Lonapan, Kochukuttan and Meenak-shikutty Amma MLC etc too are part of its lore,” says Ravi Kuttikkad.
“KSP leader Mathai Manjooran was a TU leader at Tata Oil Mills. He led a strike and jumped over the compound wall of the Assembly hall with supporters and rushed into it and ministers and MLCs escaped from the hall. The Rajendra Maidan lathicharge in the late 1940s led to the collapse of the Panampilli ministry. The first censorship Act was attempted in the Assembly which was foiled by a long line of protests. The building was flooded in the infamous ‘99 flood. When it became Law College, Oommen Chandy and A.K. Antony were students there,” said Ravi Kuttikkad.
The students of College of Architecture, Thiruvanan-thapuram, who surveyed the Hall, said that unless steps were taken to strengthen and conserve the building, it would not last more than the next 50 years.